I've played guitar since I was eight years old and various other stringed instruments for several years. I love the banjo sound and played a bit on my original album Heliotropism. I'd love to help novice players get their feet wet with the instrument, strumming and plucking away at their favorite songs.
I studied music at UCF (Orlando), focusing on classical and jazz guitar, but I also have years of experience playing rock, blues, folk, hip-hop, and musical theater on both guitar and drums.
I have been teaching guitar, drums, and piano for about eight years to students of all ages. Music is what I'm passionate about and it's what I enjoy. I want to inspire that same passion into the hearts and minds of others.
*** Lesson Details *** I am a laid-back teacher, fun, and I focus on the needs, abilities, and ambitions of the student. In turn, students must realize that learning an instrument takes a lot of work and dedication. One can't expect to learn very much if s/he only practices or thinks about the instrument during the lesson. If the student is willing to put some time into practicing, then I will help them go far!
o Equipment *** I have several guitars, a drum kit, djembe, mandolin, clarinet and full-size keyboard.
*** Specialties *** Guitar: Classical, jazz, American or Irish folk, rock and pop; lead or rhythm. Drums & Percussion: All genres Piano: Classical (includes sight reading)
-5 string Bluegrass (Earl Scruggs technique) -Tenor banjo (plectrum techniques) -Plectrum banjo (plectrum techniques) -Bluegrass, Country, Blues and Folk -Gullah Geechee, North Indian classical music and other world music rhythms
Professor Nick R. (guitar, banjo, mandolin, ukulele, dobro/resonator/slide, lap steel, tenor guitar, baritone resonator, bass, drums, composition) is currently the adjunct professor at Essex College, Jazz clinician for over 19 years via Kupferberg Center (Queens College) and has been on the staff at Great Neck Music Conservatory. Nick has given lectures at Manhattanville College, at Queens College and at schools, nationally.
Nick has been a sideman with Antonique Smith, Jon Batiste, Rob Morrow, John Lithgow, Russell Hall, Vince Giordano & The Nighthawks, Marcus Miller (a new film), Moroccan vocalist/composer, Malika Zarra, Bill Charlap, Frank Vignola, Victor Jones and Cultur-versy, Jim Nolet (Jazz Passengers), Jennifer Jade Ledesna, the late greats Jimmy McGriff, Teddy Charles, Sonny Dallas, Joe Ascione and continues to play for Th
e Hot Sardines, Andrew Nemr (tap dancer), Miles Griffith's New Ting, Terry Waldo, Dandy Wellington, New Orleans’ Aurora Nealand, Gordon Au's Grand St Stompers, Mona's Hot Four, Dr. David Pleasant, Jon Weber, John Colianni, Kim Clarke, Raphael McGregor, Anastasia Rene, Indian/pop singer, Meetu Chilana, & many others.
Nick has played extensively with Malika Zarra, including her Ebony Road CD release with Harvey Wirht, Mamadou Ba, Brahim Frigane and other great world musicians. As a pupil of Pandit Samir Chatterjee, Nick continues to study Indian music, plays harmonium, box tanpura (soon sitar and oud!) and jams with grammy nominated producer/composer/Indian percussionist, Deep Singh (tabla player with Sting) and grammy nominated producer/trumpet player/composer, Frank London on a regular basis.
Nick has also played extensively with ELEW years before, when he was jazz pianist, Eric Lewis and trombonist, Clark Gayton as sideman in various bands, including the James Brown tribute band with the late great, Black Velvet (Charles Bradley) led by Victor Jones.
Nick currently leads/MC's 3 bands: Banjo Nickaru & Western Scooches, Hot Jazz Jumpers and NickR+11
Banjo Nickaru & Western Scooches (with Betina Hershey) album, Get Us Out Of Fearland: #2 album, #2 artist, #5 song with 6 of our songs in top 20 on April 2018 International Folk Music DJs Radio chart!
Over the past two year, Banjo Nickaru Western Scooches has built a solid following in the Eastern U.S. with a half dozen tours while also playing such prestigious events such as NBC affiliate Kansas City TV, Falcon Ridge Fest, Kansas City Folk Fest (main stage), Folk Alliance International, NERFA, WFUV Sunday Supper, Jon Platt's On Your Radar, Blue Plate Special, WMOT Finally Friday, WNCW Studio B Sessions, WoodSongs, Isis Music Hall, the Mid-Winter Folk Fest at Club Passim and recent January 2019 APAP showcase in NYC.
“Nick has worked with artists all over the jazz spectrum. His latest release brings a decidedly unorthodox approach.” DOWNBEAT ⋆⋆⋆⋆
"....the inimitable Banjo Nickaru & Western Scooches"
— John Platt (WFUV)
“A heart as big as the sky…full of high energy and higher spirits.” -Elmore Magazine
“A band that has to be seen to be believed.” — John Platt (WFUV)
"They go back to basics with songs that bask in a genuine roots regimen and a sense of timeless tradition." Elmore Magazine
"Americana music at its purest and most impressive." No Depression
“Unfailingly high-spirited." LONDON TIMES
"...Banjo Nickaru & Western Scooches are ridiculously fun." Rambles.
-Down Beat magazine 2006 Ro review plus [Jan/Feb 2016] Hot Jazz Jumpers' "The Very Next Thing" DVD/CD review
-Jazz Insider magazine current issue [Dec 2015] 2.5 page interview
-Just Jazz Guitar magazine interview [February 2015 issue]
-Vanity Fair magazine (August 2013) interview
"Summer of 2013, Nick R. performed at Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin's home. It was an honor to meet Paul McCartney and jam with him while he played toy harmonica. Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Iridium, Bluenote, Birdland, U.N., IAJE, Cape Cod Jazz Festival, NJPAC, Sweet Rhythm, Smalls, Zinc Bar, Smoke Jazz Club, internationally: Japan, Spain, Russia, Brasil, St. Kitts, Canada, France, Bermuda, Sweden, Israel
-Toured/recorded and/or worked as sideman with Antonique Smith, Jon Batiste (from the Colbert show), Jimmy McGriff, Teddy Charles, Bill Charlap, Sonny Dallas, Victor Jones and Cultur-versy, Vince Giordano & The Night Hawks, Frank Vignola/Joe Ascione, Miles Griffith, David Pleasant, Jim Nolet (former violinist for the Jazz Passengers), Dandy Wellington, Jon Weber, Aurora Nealand (from New Orleans), Anastasia Rene, Mona's Hot Four, Gordon Au's Grand Street Stompers, Michael Arenella's Dreamland Orchestra, with Jesse Gelber, Raphael McGregor, Emily Asher's Garden Party, and many other groups.
-Appears in Sam Mendes Film "Away We Go"
-Movie Soundtrack: King George.
-Guitar/banjo: "Jew Grows in Brooklyn," "Take Me Along," "The Big Apple Circus" + others.
-Banjo/Guitar Chair: "New Girl In Town" (Irish Rep Theatre)
M.A. from the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College (partial scholarship)
B.S. from S.U.N.Y. Stony Brook, graduated magna cum laude. Dean's list all semesters
-Published interview (book): A New Face of Jazz (Cicily Janus)
-Playing guitar/banjo on first episode of new PBS cartoon "Peg and Cat"
- Current adjunct professor at Essex College
-Guest lecturing professor at Manhattanville College
-Substitute adjunct professor at Queens College
-Winning participant: I.A.J.E. with Miles Griffith's New Ting 2007. Performance and educational certificate granted.
-Winning participant; part-scholarship award: 2004 International Jazz Workshop at BANFF Centre, Canada (dir, Dave Douglas)
-Winning participant; full-scholarship award of the 2001 JAS academy in Aspen Colorado (dir, Christian McBride (Down Beat Dec. 2001)
-Studying Bol (Indian rhythmic system) with tabla player, Pandit Samir Chatterjee 2006-2007; 2013-current
-Studied with Pat Martino, Billy Bauer, Ben Monder, Tony Purrone, Pete Bernstein, Dr. Stephen Salerno, Dr. David Belser
-Studying African Rhythms with drummer, Harvey Wirht
*** Lesson Details *** With over 20 years teaching experience, Nick is patient with children & adults. He has a creative, unique pedagogy emphasizing hearing through singing, ear-training & natural, organic listening. Nick instills healthy absorption of music while students have fun learning their music, sight reading, internalizing with focus on rhythm and time. As a student, you will get to work on music that you, the student select as well as work on sight-reading, technique, ear-training. We will also work out of method books and use other sources of information.
*** Studio Equipment *** Chairs, music stands, instrument stands, classical foot pedals, classical guitar pillows, guitar amps, guitar, banjo, mandolin, ukulele, drum set. Students usually provide their own instruments but it's possible to borrow an instrument during the lesson at the studio on the first lesson. (free street parking right in front!)
*** Specialties *** Nick's pedagogy emphasizes ear-training, singing, reading and truly hearing the music we are working on. Rather than rote teaching and guitar tablature, he instills natural listening, transcribing, sight-reading and proper technique. Lessons are always enjoyable as Nick observes each student's unique needs and listen's to their song preferences and musical goals. Students have the opportunity to learn pieces and genres they select and they are trained to figure out tunes by ear (ear-training) and transcribe.
-classical guitar and Brazilian guitar (nylon 6 string and nylon 7 string guitar) -acoustic steel string guitar, electric 6 string and electric 7 string guitar - jazz guitar + an eclectic mix of styles: blues, Brazilian music, Latin Jazz, Afro-Peruvian, Indian music, rock, heavy metal, funk, R & B, Motown, reggae + other genres. - tenor banjo (traditional jazz, jazz from New Orleans, Dixieland and world music) -5 string banjo (Earl Scruggs finger picking [bluegrass and country]) -tenor guitar -ukulele -mandolin -resonator slide/dobro. -lap steel -baritone resonator (slide)
This was my first lesson with Nick. He is a very nice guy. He created a calm, relaxed atmosphere in his studio, and he was clear when he gave me particular instructions. His knowledge of music theory in general, and of the five-string banjo in particular, was quite impressive. I would recommend him highly to both a beginner and to anyone (like myself) who is in need of a refresher course. I am very much looking forward to my next lesson.
April 2, 2019
Nick Russo is a fantastic tutor for kids and adults who would like to learn Ukulele, guitar, banjo or other instruments. He makes ‘learning fun’ he's friendly and cheerful. I don’t have any background in music but, Nick made it easy for me to understand the notes and how it works. I always look forward to every lesson. I Highly recommended Nick to everyone.
March 22, 2019
I’ve been taking guitar lessons with Nick now for a few months and it’s been a terrific experience — cannot say enough good things. Each lesson builds on the last and Nick tailors them to my ability and musical interests mixing in enough music theory, which makes learning both productive and enjoyable. Most importantly I feel like I’m beginning to understand how music works and not just blindly memorizing patterns or scales. I considered online courses before choosing Nick, but there’s no substitution for one-to-one instruction. Nick’s feedback and instruction are invaluable.
I was a little concerned about trying to pick up guitar in my early 40s, but its been a rewarding experience so far and I’m looking forward to more lessons with Nick.
Hello! Thank you for your interest in taking guitar/piano/music lessons.
I am a professional teacher/studio musician/performer/producer with over 20 years of private teaching experience and a graduate of the University of Miami Studio Music and Jazz program in 2002 specializing in the guitar.
I am available to teach guitar(acoustic, electric, classical) for all levels, ages, and styles(pop to folk, rock to soul, world to classical) in English, Spanish and Japanese.
Other subjects taught include bass guitar, piano/keyboard, ukulele, banjo, mandolin, harmonium, classical percussion, music theory, composition(all styles from pop to classical), ear training, and studio production/engineering/mixing.
Born in Cali, Colombia on April 1979, I began my musical endeavors studying the piano at the age of 6. Early on I had the opportunit
y to play percussion in the school symphony while at the same time developed an intense interest in the instrument that would become my true love, the guitar.
During 1996-98 I studied jazz guitar at the New World School of the Arts music program under the direction of J.B. Dyas and Dr. Roby George. Upon graduation, I was immediately accepted to the University of Miami jazz guitar program under the direction of Randall Dollahan. It was during this time that I also refined my skills as a classical guitarist and as a composer/arranger. In addition, I began passing my knowledge onto friends and eventually began working as a teacher.
My ability to play almost any genre of music is the fruit of past experience playing with an impressive variety of music groups, including jazz combos, symphony orchestras, Andean world music ensembles, and several rock and pop groups as well. As a studio guitarist I have recorded for various artists including Jaci Velasquez, Carlos Ponce, Alexandre Pires, and Noelia.
*** Lesson Details *** Now also available to teach online video chat lessons through Skype.
Every one of you is unique and there are many possible paths to reach your goals in music.
With my background and music industry experience, I am able to customize my lessons for you so that you can reach your desired goals. We will take some time to find out where your passion lies in music and I will use my experience and knowledge to create a customized lesson-plan that will allow us to focus on reaching your desired goals and at the same time maintain a well rounded music education.
I find this to be key in making the lessons and your practice sessions very enjoyable, fun and laid back - knowing that everything we practice, play and talk about is in line with your goals as a student.
I will also be playing along with you and demonstrating everything that we're working on - music is meant to be shared and played with others and it is important to have that experience of interaction from early on in your lessons.
So whether it's learning to accompany yourself or others, write songs, read music, understand harmony, solo, or just jam out to your favorite songs, you will be well on your way to reaching your goals within 6 months of my lessons.
Look forward to making music with you!
Want to learn a quick exercise for mastering the fretboard on your guitar? Check out my article on the TakeLessons blog here: http://takelessons.com/blog/guitar-fretboard-chart
*** Studio Equipment *** Living room w/ grand piano and seating for parents. Room/studio with professional recording equipment - Logic Pro X recording software, Mackie HR824 Studio Monitors, Miktech C4 Tube Microphone, UA6176 Preamp/compressor, Apogee Duet D/A converter.
*** Travel Equipment *** I provide my instrument and teaching materials. Students provide their instrument, music folders.
*** Specialties *** All styles - pop, rock, classical, jazz, blues, folk, ethnic, latin, soul
Great first lesson. My daughter was super happy after her lesson with Edwin, and very inspired to practice. Edwin was very polite and patient with her during the lesson. I look forward to seeing her make progress in future lessons.
September 11, 2019
Just what the doctor ordered. Someone that can walk the walk!!!!! Well worth the money. Knows subject and great demeanor. Looking forward to future lessons.
I have been playing and teaching banjo since 2006, and I'm always very excited to introduce new students to this unique instrument. I focus on the "Scruggs-style" method of playing 5-string banjo, and we'll work on techniques used in common bluegrass and folk tunes. As you advance, I'll help you in creating your own banjo solo breaks.
- Degree in Music Theory / History from University of Wisconsin - Whitewater. - 25 years' teaching and performing experience. - Fluent in all electric styles, plus acoustic and classical.
*** Lesson Details *** I like to cover the fundamentals while focusing on your personal goals. All stages of ability are welcome, from rank novice to pro. We'll determine what you wish to learn, and build a roadmap to get there.
*** Studio Equipment *** Home Office in his Townhouse: Music stand, recording equipment, two chairs.
*** Specialties *** All types of jazz, from swing to modern. Rock, Metal, Blues and Country. Composition and improvisation.
So far so good. Very patient as mistakes after mistake was made. Corrected quite a few mistakes I was making so that my habits would be good habits from the start. Let me talk to myself as I messed up and complimented me when I was on the right track.
January 18, 2019
Great lesson! Thanks!
January 2, 2019
complete novice; adult student. First lesson very relaxed. Excellent blend through-out lesson of questions and information my goals and background as well as instructor's goals for me and his background. First "technical" part of lesson was manageable and care taken by Lyle to make sure I understood what was being presented. I left the first lesson feeling this would be a good fit between instructor and student
I have taught for 18 years, giving both private and group lessons. I am a professional musician, having played in numerous bands, recorded and played shows. I have taugh all ages, and all elvels, and all styles. I play a number of instruments including piano, guitar, bass, violin, banjo, mandolin, and harmonica, in addition to writing and singing. I took private lessons for over 10 years, and also studied music in both high school and college.
*** Lesson Details *** A student can expect to be treated with respect, and have a lesson tailored around their abilities, interests, and amount of practice time. I make the lessons fun but also informative. I try to get to know my students so that they feel comfortable. I am laid back, but also determined that a student practice well, and learn not only the instrument but music fundamentals a
s well. I try to show students that learning music is a lifelong pursuit that can provide all types of fun and personal fulfillment, in addition to being a potential career and social outlet. After 3-6 months, the student will be playing songs, good ones, not just scales. They will also have learned basics, such as chords and scales, as well as sight reading.
*** Studio Equipment *** Basement converted into music studio with instruments, and piano and keyboard. Parents can sit in on lessons. Street parking available.
*** Travel Equipment *** I provide all lesson materials, listening examples, and, on occassion, an instrument. I often use my laptop to play songs and tutorials for students (who don't buy records like we did in the old days.) Generally, students must provide instrument.
*** Specialties *** I tailor my lessons based on three factors: a student's interests, their ability, and their amount of practice time. I do not use a cookie cutter method of teaching because each student is different. I have studied, formally and informally, rock, pop, blues, jazz and classical. My specialties are rock and blues. On occasion, I will use method books, such as the Schirmer books for piano, but only if the student clearly seems to benefiting from them.
Beginner banjo lessons. Basic technique, chords, strumming. So much fun playing songs! Disclaimer: I am not a traditional bluegrass player. I am finding many students nowadays that enjoy the sound of banjo, but want to play modern music with it. I have had a great deal of success with this type of student, but advise anyone looking for traditional scruggs lessons to seek that out. Thanks!
- I have a record of success with students of all ages, backgrounds, abilities, and goals - I teach using a variety of methods and styles, including my own authored books - I own a music academy where I train others to be successful instructors - I have a very high student retention rate - I've been playing over 25 years - I have a BA in Music from Florida State University - I have been teaching for 17 years - I have personally taught over 15,000 private lessons - I have played in numerous bands - I have gigged professionally
*** Lesson Details *** I customize the lessons to the goals of each student. Whether it's for fun and leisure or a driven passion with serious goals, I can give you the tools to accomplish what you want! I love teaching people through the music that they love. So, whether that's Britney Spears, Metallic
a, or Bach, the concepts underlying music are basically the same. I will make sure you can play the music you love and hopefully help you explore new music as well.
*** Studio Equipment *** In my studio I have a Guild Classical, Alvarez Acoustic, and Epiphone Electric.
All the accessories needed as well. Music Stands, Foot Stools, Picks, Straps, Slides, Tuners, Books, etc.
I also use an iMac in lessons. I like incorporating technology when appropriate, to look up tunes, or do a recording session, it's a necessary tool to learn nowadays.
*** Travel Equipment *** I will bring everything we need to conduct a proper lesson remotely. I do recommend you have your own guitar though.
*** Specialties *** For all the advanced knowledge I have and years of teaching students of all kinds, my favorite is teaching beginners. I love seeing someone come in with no knowledge of music, and taking them from milestone to milestone. I love watching new musicians blossom.
I play, teach, and perform most frequently in classical, rock, blues, and pop genres.
Daniel is very knowledgeable and kind. He understands student's strength and weakness and also the areas to focus on. I am a beginner and have self learned on and off for a few years. Daniel teaches progressiveIy and I throughly enjoyed my first session with him!
June 19, 2019
Great first lesson
May 18, 2019
Daniel is a fun and easygoing instructor who tailors to your needs, adapting to your musical interests as well as your preferred lesson style. And it is clear that he has years of teaching experience under his belt. He has also helped me improve my music theory understanding, which has become rusty over the years. I couldn’t have asked for a better instructor.
Explains everything in detail , moves in a progress in which I retain the knowledge very Easy.
I highly recommend Mel.
Very calm , collect and patient.
June 11, 2019
February 7, 2019
Mel is a great teacher and his many past experiences in the music field have given him tons of knowledge. he has a simple and effective way of teaching music and theory. he listens to the way you learn and adapts his methods to best suit you.
I can teach five string bluegrass, old time or folk banjo playing or four string tenor banjo. I can give you the basics of chords as well as the types of right hand technique you need to pick or pluck.
Benjamin Engel is a percussionist and mandolin player from North Carolina. Coming out of a folk music tradition he has expanded his interest into the world of electronic music, free improvisation and world music. He most recently visited Dublin to work with composer Cal Folger Day on a historical Operetta. He has performed in long standing Brooklyn Based bands like Free Advice, Eamon Fogerty band and the Wyndham Baird band. His newest projects include collaborations with violinist/vocalist Concetta Abbate and sound artist Ted Robinson, in addition to his original music under the moniker Chemical Bags.
"Lyle is awesome! Lessons are fun and helpful, he focuses on helping you meet your musical goals. I am an adult absolute novice, never played an instrument
before, and I feel really good about my progress. If a year ago someone would have asked me "will you ever play an instrument?" I would have said absolutely no and that I didn't think I was even capable of learning an instrument, I considered myself to be very non-musical; but not anymore. 1 star off because we've had a lot of cancellations and reschedules but that's partially my fault as well since our lessons are on Friday nights and he warned me he often plays gigs or has to travel to gigs on that night."
"love learning banjo with Grant!"
"Very patient and helpful."
"My Banjo Lessons
Ray has already helped this 47 Year old kid to make large leaps in my understanding of music theory and my instrument. I really apprecia
te Rays knowledge of music and his ability to break it down so that anyone can understand and put into practice the knowledge gained very quickly. My hour lessons go so fast that I wonder where the time went.
Ray has been very flexible to this student and has been very accommodating to all the questions I have. He is patient and will go over anything again until you understand the lesson.
I Highly recommend Ray to any level of student all ages just starting out or someone who wants to gain more knowledge with the instrument you have.
I appreciate what he has taught me so far and am very excited to see where this journey takes me."
Thanks for your patience. Delaney really enjoyed her lesson.
"Ray is patient, knowledgeable and very talented. I am having fun learning to play the banjo."
"HE IS AWESOME
I absolutely adored every second with Jason. Even though I was a complete novice, Jason was patient and created a very friendly environment
. He encouraged me to choose the lesson plan. Also, knowing that the banjo is typically understood as a blue-grass and southern sound, he opened my ears to Sabbath on the banjo which blew me away and opened the doors to banjo-heavy metal style. He is very versatile and a kick-butt musician. The man can do anything. He is understanding, fun, and encouraging. He never gave-up on me, always made me feel talented and kept me motivated. I will continue to take lessons from Jason. From never touching an instrument before in my life to jamming T. Rex on the banjo in just a month, shows Jason is one great teacher. YOU ROCK!!"
"Adam is very nice and adapts his lesson to my kid. I recommend him."
"Amazing banjo teacher for adult student
Aaron is a great teacher - and I'm sure it doesn't matter what instrument he is teaching. For me, it's the banjo.
He makes in fun, tailors his teaching to what you want to learn and what type of music you like, is very patient (I'm an absolute beginner), and reliable.
He's helped me get some important basics down that I never could have just scrolling through YouTube for instructional videos. I would recommend Aaron to any parents or students any age out there. You'll be happy you went with him."
Loud, jangly, and twangy, the banjo is an instrument with a distinctive voice that immediately evokes the spirit of the American South. Long a mainstay of bluegrass music, banjos have recently been incorporated into pop music as well by bands like Mumford and Sons.
And, if YouTube trends are any indication, it looks like the banjo is making another genre shift!
A pack of viral videos featuring banjo covers of hard rock classics are making the rounds and proving that banjos can shred just a …